Today we clear up some confusion on Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) and NAD boosters with Dr. Nichola Conlon.
NAD is a molecule we have in our bodies that can regulate aging. We lose it as we age and that’s one of the reasons we get tired.
Nichola is going to share some of the latest research on menopause and biological age and how managing our NAD levels at the appropriate time may help us not only feel better, but may help slow down aging.
You probably have heard of Dr. Conlon before. She has been on the wellness and biohacking podcast circuit for a while now.
We had a great interview last year, which I highly recommend you go back and listen to here, to get a really deep dive into NAD.
I used to be one of those who took NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) or NR (Nicotinamide Riboside) to boost my NAD levels until Dr. Conlon taught me a more efficient way to boost my NAD.
ABOUT DR. NICHOLA CONLON
Dr. Conlon is an amazing molecular biologist for who aging is a biologically complex disorder.
She got her PhD in Physiology from Newcastle University, home to the largest institute for aging research in Europe. She is also a trained Cosmetic Scientist.
Dr. Conlon has years of experience in molecular biology, particularly when she was working for a huge biotech company looking at early stage drug discovery.
She then used this experience to create her own company called Nuchido to bring supercharged scientific discoveries, products and education to the public.
What is amazing about what she does, is that she looks not only to help people with better products and services, but she wants this to come out as fast as possible and be completely transparent.
She wants to empower us and become health literate to make the best decisions for ourselves.
WHY IS NAD IMPORTANT?
NAD declines by 50% by age 20 and then halves again. It’s important for cellular energy, repair and maintenance. Without it, we would die in 30 seconds.
If you restore NAD to normal levels, there are many benefits, including a lower risk of disease.
HOW TO KEEP NAD HIGH?
Our body can produce NAD, but we may boost NAD in 3 main ways:
- Exercise – it’s best to hit it hard. We need to create an energy deficit and sweat. Activate AMPK in the cell, the global energy sensor activated with exercise and fasting. It switches on NAD production by increasing enzymes that increase NAD.
- Intermittent fasting, time-restricted feeding and caloric restriction influence energy status. This causes the energy in the cell to go down, and the cell responds by pushing NAD high to switch repair and maintenance. No nutrients are coming in. 14 – 16 hours of fasting is 8 – 10 hours of time-restricted feeding daily, which is good enough to promote NAD. We don’t know if more extended fasting is better but there are other great benefits of fasting such as autophagy, the removal of senescent cells – for aging.
- Supplements – In animals, supplemented precursor of NAD is used to create NAD. Supplemented mice did well. The control group got old.
Exercise and fasting create energy stress in our cell, which signals the body to activate pathways to maintain and repair and boosts NAD. When energy production is turned up, we get benefits.
WHY DO WE AGE?
Our main goal is to reproduce. We protect and pass on DNA, so our bodies have evolved to be good at repairing the damage quickly, but it takes up a lot of energy in our cells.
After we reproduce, our body doesn’t want or need to keep repairing. Historically, we would die from infectious diseases or childbirth, but nowadays, we live longer and into our 80s or beyond. We are in new territories.
Why would evolution want us to live into old age?
BIOLOGICAL AGE VS CHRONOLOGICAL AGE
Our biological age tells us what’s happening at a cellular level. It’s a measure of how well our cells are aging. This is different to our chronological age, our age from birth. You may be 50 years old but have a biological age of a 60 year old, meaning there is more damage in your cells.
The discrepancy tells us how well someone is aging. It’s an opportunity for us to do something about it at a cellular level because we can improve our biological age.
Studies show peri-menopause women age by nine biological years in just six months. This shows hormones have a huge impact. The rate of aging doubles in the menopause transition and may increase by 20 years.
If you hit menopause at 52, you may have a biological age of 62.
NAD AND MENOPAUSE
There are no studies done to date, so there is no data however, expect NAD to decrease further. During menopause, estrogen level falls, and it causes problems. There are two theories why:
- Estrogen is important for immune function. During menopause, inflammation can increase because of low estrogen.
- Mitochondrial function is critical to healthy aging. Mito dysfunction means a lack of energy production and high reactive oxygen species. The estrogen receptors ensure mito functions well. Without it, it damages DNA and cells.
Mitochondria is where energy is produced within the cells, creating ATP. Low estrogen causes mito dysfunction, which may explain why we are so tired. When estrogen declines, NAD is also declining. These are the two major energy production sources.
Cognitive energy is important, but if we have low NAD and estrogen, our brains will have a hard time working and memorizing, leading to brain fog.
This is because estrogen receptors are abundant in parts of the brain related to memory.
Women’s brain function declines by 15-25% after menopause due to mito dysfunction. We can increase NAD to help.
NAD can help reverse some decline and improve energy production. There are lots of research on this and it may help reverse negative effects of low estrogen. Estrogen HRT may help bring energy back too.
USING NAD TO REPAIR
Effects of estrogen decline causes damage, inflammation and reactive oxygen species. NAD repairs the damage and reduces chronic low level inflammation. NAD also triggers sirtuins (anti-aging genes) to help repair.
WHEN TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT LOW NAD
When you start to notice signs of aging, such as wrinkles, gray hair and fatigue. These are signs that your body struggles with repairing the damage.
NAD declines at different rates for different people; however, a great diet and lifestyle will protect and optimize NAD.
Smoking, tanning beds, partying, a lack of sleep and alcohol depletes NAD. Disease also robs NAD Diabetes NAFLD.
WHY NOT TAKE NAD STRAIGHT UP INSTEAD OF A PRECURSOR?
Straight NAD can’t move across membranes without the precursor. The majority of cells won’t let NAD in. Cells need to make building blocks that are smaller than those used to make NAD and then cross over.
Within the cell, the enzymes put the building blocks together and create NAD directly in the cell area where it is needed.
Avoid taking NAD capsules. They don’t work.
The most popular precursors are NR, NMN and niacin. These are all different derivatives of vitamin B3 and are ingredients the body can use to make NAD. NAD can be made out of tryptophan, although it is inefficient.
They all work. There is evidence of positive outcomes but we can only put so much raw materials to create more NAD.
If the “NAD factory” in our body becomes old and we need to increase production, it wouldn’t make sense to bring in more raw materials and expect more NAD.
Dr. Conlon’s company Nuchido created Nuchido Time+ to approach the problem by “fixing the factory” (enzymes and NAD production) rather than just bringing in new raw materials (NR and NMN). This gets to the root cause of the problem.
Nuchido Time+ uses precursors and boosts NAMPT the main enzyme that recycles NAD in the cell. Body and cells have a capability to recycle NAD. When it’s used up, it gets broken down into the precursor (nicotinamide) and then it’s recycled into fresh NAD via the “salvage pathway” that declines with age. By how much? Cells generate most of the NAD by this pathway.
This is a “whole systems” approach. Put in the raw material, improve the machines, fix leaky pipes that waste NAD, fix the cells’ natural ability to recycle to make and maintain its own NAD.
CD38 is the biggest consumer of NAD. It is an inflammatory protein that wastes NAD. For every molecule it has to use 38 molecules of NAD. Nuchido Time+ inhibits this process and you can boost NAD by 50%.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS NMN AND NR?
In Nuchido’s clinical trial with 2 human volunteers (age 25 and 45), they found an increase of NAD of 242% within 16 days of taking Nuchido Time+. On average the increase in NAD is 40% – 60% with just NR or NMN.
Now a clinical trial is underway with 28 people to validate these results. Ages 20 – 80 years.
CAN YOU MEASURE NAD?
- Measure in a lab
- NAD is unstable molecule and can degrade easily when not in the cell and breaks down quickly.
- Needs to be very quick and controlled to measure it.
- Home kits are not credible or accurate.
- Healthier fitter people don’t see the difference as much as they have less damage. They have a more subtle effect
- Those with already low levels of energy or metabolic syndrome or older give the best feedback.
- Peri-menopausal women have great results
- LOW NAD LEVELS associated with lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome also have great feedback.
WHERE TO BUY NUCHIDO TIME+?
Nuchido Time+ is sold online from the US and the UK at Nuchido.com
Use code Zora10off for a 10% discount at Nuchido
WHERE TO BUY GLYCANAGE
Use discount code ZORA for 15% off Glycanage
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This podcast is edited by @JonathanJK
This blog post is edited by Alison Copywriting
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